This book examines the relationship between total war, state-organized genocide, and the emergence of modern identity. Omer Bartov demonstrates that, in the twentieth century, there have been intimate links between military conflict, mass murder of civilian populations, and the definition and categorization of groups and individuals. The Holocaust, he argues, can only be understood within the context of the century's predilection to apply systematic and destructive methods to resolve conflicts over identity. His study follows the changing relationships between Jews and non-Jews in France and Germany from the outbreak of World War I to the present. He takes a close look at the glorification of war between 1914-18 and examines the pacifist reaction in
interwar France to show how it contributed to a climate of collaboration with dictatorship and mass murder. He also provides detailed analyses of modern apocalyptic visions and pursuits for internal enemies. The book is an important new perspective on some of the most crucial issues of our time.
Omer Bartov, Professor of History, Rutgers University
"Mirrors of Destruction is an assertive, provocative, and important book. Bartov's model deserves as wide a discussion as possible, because it raises so many crucial questions and because it has already proven frighteningly accurate" - German Politics and Society
"Bartov never loses sight of his central concern: to explain the Holocaust to the citizens of the twenty-first century ... the book's multiple levels of engagement force the reader to continue the groundbreaking work begun by its author. Consequently, the study opens the intellectual space that the discipline so desperately needs; this achievement will turn the book into a landmark even for those readers who might disagree with some of Bartov's conclusions" -
German Politics and Society
"Bartov brings a prodigious amount of reading, intelligence, and critical energy to the table ... he explores new material, taking on new polemics and problems" - Michael R Marrus, New York Times